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Rise in ISIS interest in state worries Assam police

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Guwahati: A rise in jihadi activities has the Assam Police worried about international Islamist terrorist outfits like the IS (Islamic State) making inroads into the state, a senior police official said.

Assam’s Director General of Police (DGP) Khagen Sarma said this during a press conference held at the Assam Police headquarters here on Tuesday.

He said though no one from Assam had joined the IS so far, yet people’s interest in the terror organisation was on the rise.

“We have not seen anyone joining the ISIS so far in Assam but a lot of interest has generated in the outfit in Assam. We are alert and worried,” Sarma said.

“Many people have visited the ISIS websites through Internet and the hits recorded by these websites indicate that it is more than curiosity. It is on the higher side like in Jammu and Kashmir or in Andhra Pradesh,” the official said.

“We do not have the expertise and equipment to monitor this but the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) is monitoring all these developments,” the DGP said, adding that the cyber cell of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Assam Police, is also working on it.

He said there was a threat to the state from the fundamentalist forces “both the Hindu right wing fundamentalist and Islamist fundamentalist outfits”.

While the actions of the Islamist fundamentalist forces are visible in the state the Hindu fundamentalist groups are not yet active.

“Recently we arrested 24 members of the Jamaatul Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB), a Bangladesh-based Islamist terror outfit, who have spread to Assam and some other states in India after the Bangladesh government launched a crackdown against them”, Sarma said.

“We have also arrested members of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) from Assam in the past,” he added.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Tea Body of Assam Slam ‘Chaiwala’ Modi

The tea labourers of Assam live in the most deplorable conditions without some of the basic amenities, Gowala said

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Assam tea body slam 'chaiwala' Modi,

The largest tea body of Assam on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who often refer to himself as a “chaiwala”, for not being considerate towards the state’s tea garden workers’ plight and urged him to implement the promised minimum wage of Rs 350 before the new year starts.

The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) General Secretary Rupesh Gowala said while Modi often refers to himself as a “chaiwala”, he is yet make good on his promises towards a million tea garden labourers in the state in the last four years.

“Before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, Modi addressed several rallies in Assam and assured that the tea garden labourers would be paid a minimum wage of Rs 350 per day,” Gowala said.

“If this happens, the 10,00,000 tea garden labourers will lose Rs 30 each day for two months. Is it a “chaiwala” Prime Minister who is doing this to his own community?” said Gowala.

The tea garden workers in Brahmaputra Valley in Assam are presently drawing Rs 167 per day while the tea garden workers in Barak Valley are getting Rs 145 per day.

“The existing wage agreement between the Assam government and the ACMS and other tea workers bodies expired on December 31, 2017.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi (Wikimedia Commons)

“The government had announced an interim hike of Rs 30 per day. The tea garden labourers are supposed to get this interim hike from January 1, 2018, but the government is saying the hike will apply from March 1, 2018.

“This would make them lose Rs 30 per day for two months,” he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Assam is yet to fix that minimum wage, Gowala said, urging Modi to announce the promised Rs 350 per day minimum wage before 2019.

Gowala said the condition of all those tea gardens run by the Assam government was far worse.

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“While the labourers in company-owned garden are receiving a wage of Rs. 167 per day now, the 26,000 workers under the 14 gardens of state-owned Assam Tea Company Limited (ATCL) are receiving a wage of Rs 115 only per day,” he said.

Assam has over 800 medium and large size tea gardens that produces over 50 per cent of the country’s total tea produce.

The tea labourers of Assam live in the most deplorable conditions without some of the basic amenities, Gowala said. (IANS)